An Indie Love Letter to Dark Souls
Thymesia is a game that could only be described as an indie homage to Dark Souls. From its dark and gloomy world to the protagonist along with the gameplay mechanics. It’s obvious what inspired this title and it makes no attempt at hiding it. But don’t call it knock-off, it’s more of a love letter to the series and how it has redefined video games.
This is a game made by Dark Soul fans for Dark Soul fans. It’s also an attempt to introduce new gamers who have been put off by its difficulty and time commitment. In the end, Thymesia is a game that will appeal to hardcore fans, novice fans plus those who are curious.
A Plague Upon the Kingdom
Set in the Kingdom of Hermes, it has fallen into calamity by a plague brought on by the popularity of alchemy. The capital is under lockdown as infected citizens and unholy creatures terrorize the streets. Players take on the role of Corvus, the Kingdom’s only hope who unfortunately has lost their memory in the midst of the chaos. Players must survive this world and battle the many horrors while working to unlock Corvus’s past.
From a narrative perspective, you know exactly what you’re expecting from a game like this. I’m not saying it’s by the books or cliche. It’s fitting for the world that has been created for such an experience.
The Curse of Alchemy
Let’s get the obvious out of the way, Thymesia is a Souls-like game. Meaning that it will be difficult and brutal. If you’re not a fan of the Souls series then you will not enjoy Thymesia. The game is challenging and there are no predatory monetization schemes or exploitative gambling mechanics that will help you progress faster. If one wants to progress then you gotta do it the old fashion way, by working hard to overcome challenges.
Gameplay is your standard RPG, players will battle enemies and grow their stats. This includes basic weapons and your special abilities. They will collect unique weapons from bosses and enemies that can be upgraded. At the same time, players will have to explore the world and collect pieces of Corvus’s past in an attempt to rid the kingdom of this nightmare.
Most of the other gameplay mechanics are on par with other Souls-like games (like Code Vein and Bloodborne). Fans of the genre will have no problem getting into the game. Novice fans and first timers will have a challenge ahead of them going in. Combat is absolutely challenging as players will need to learn the mechanics fast. Once done, they will build up their own personal skills (aka getting better). At the same time, you are encouraged to find an ideal style based on your preference and the moment.
Compared to other Souls games, it’s not ridiculously long. Thus you will not be grinding away for hours. At the same time, it allows new gamers a taste of the Souls experience without committing so much time to it.
As much as the game loves the Souls series, it fails to want to be its own game. Everything about it says “We love Dark Souls” but it does nothing to stand out on its own. One can admire the dedication given the studio’s limited resources but some effort should have been put into the world-building. Specifically, make it stand out as its own world instead of trying to be more like Dark Souls.
Outside the lack of originality, the game also has issues when it comes to the controls and combat system. It’s overall clunky and at times fails to properly respond to the player’s actions. While in most games this can be forgiven but not in a Souls-like game. As you’re inches away from progress or death, reliability matters.
A World of Darkness
Thymesia is an indie studio’s love letter to the Dark Souls series and it makes no effort to hide it (in all the right ways). At the same time, it wants to introduce new gamers to the series with an experience that encapsulates what defines it but is scaled back in regards to time and grind.
This review is the critique and thoughts of one writer. If you want to see how other critics felt then check it out on OpenCritic.
Disclaimer: Team 17 provided the game used for this review.
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